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Best Graphics Cards for Under 50 Bucks

written by: Jesma•edited by: J. F. Amprimoz•updated: 4/25/2009

Need a new graphics card and only have a little money to spend? Not to worry, here are some great graphics cards to fit your budget.

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    BFG Tech GeForce 8600 GTS - $49.99

    BFG Tech GeForce 8600 GTSbfg 

    This graphics card may not have the biggest numbers of the bunch, but that is mitigated by the fact that it is durable, reliable, balanced, and is manufactured by a company that is legendary for their support, iron-clad warranties, and overclockability (if that's even a word). It is also one of the only cards in its price range that features GDDR3 over GDDR2, making it an incredible value. I'd recommend this card to anyone looking for an inexpensive upgrade over their on-board video or older card and that wants to do some mid-settings 3D gaming and image editing.

    Spec's and Features:

    • PCI-Express x16
    • 256MB VRAM
    • 128-bit Interface
    • GDDR3 VRAM
    • 710MHz core clock
    • 2000MHz memory clock
    • 2560x1600 max resolution
    • Supports DirectX 10 and OpenGL 2.0
    • HDTV/S-Video out
    • SLI Ready

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    ASUS GeForce 7300 GT - $47.99

    ASUS GeForce 7300 GTasus 

    Despite being from a much older series of Nvidia cards (that lacks DX10 support), this card has some very notable features that earned it its spot on this list. It possesses an above-average VRAM amount, particularly for the price, as well as a 128-bit interface. It is also SLI-capable. The only thing stopping it from being truly amazing is that it has lower clock speeds and uses GDDR2 instead of GDDR3. This, however, is consistent with most cards in the price bracket. All in all, it is a great value. Ideal for low-end 3D gaming and image editing.

    Spec's and Features:

    • PCI-Express x16
    • 512MB VRAM
    • 128-bit interface
    • GDDR2 VRAM
    • 400MHz core clock
    • 800MHz memory clock
    • 2560x1600 max resolution
    • Supports DirectX 9 and OpenGL 2.0
    • Silent fanless heat management design
    • HDTV Out
    • SLI Ready
    • $10 mail-in rebate

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    SAPPHIRE Radeon HD 3450 - $36.99

    SAPPHIRE Radeon HD 3450sap 

    This little card packs a tremendous value. With tons of video-memory, it is perfect for the average user that wants to get into image and photo editing without worrying about bogging their computer down. It is also said to be capable of tremendous overclocking, possibly making it a candidate for some mild 3D gaming. It is the perfect solution for replacing slow on-board video without spending too much money. Across the board, users agree it is the best card for its price. It also features the newer PCI-Express 2.0 x16 interface and can be configured with Crossfire.

    • PCI-Express 2.0 x16
    • 512MB VRAM
    • 64-bit interface
    • GDDR2 VRAM
    • 2560x1600 max resolution
    • Supports DirectX 10.1 and OpenGL 2.0
    • Silent fanless heat management design
    • HDTV Out
    • Crossfire Ready

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    GIGABYTE Radeon HD 2400XT - $24.99

    GIGABYTE Radeon HD 2400XTgig 

    There are two things that really impressed me about this card. The first was its price, and the second was the high clock speeds (see below). Whoa! For this "class" of cards those speeds are impressive. You can't go wrong for $25 bucks. If you count the $10 mail-in rebate then it's really mind boggling. All in all an impressive little card that supports DX10. Perfect for someone looking to replace their on-board graphics with something that has a little extra "oomph".

    • PCI-Express x16
    • 256MB VRAM
    • 64-bit interface
    • GDDR2 VRAM
    • 700MHz core clock
    • 800MHz memory clock
    • 2560x1600 max resolution
    • Supports DirectX10 and OpenGL 2.0
    • HDCP
    • Silent fanless heat management design
    • HDTV / S-Video / Composite Out
    • $10 mail-in rebate

Graphics Card Review Sampling

A selection of Bright Hub Computer Hardware Channel articles reviewing the top Graphics Cards currently on the market, and how the technology that drives them will develop?
  1. Best Graphics Cards for Under 50 Bucks
  2. HIS Radeon HD 4870 Graphics Card Review
  3. Which Graphics Card - Palit GeForce 9600GT or Asus EAH2400 Pro?
  4. EVGA 8600 GT Video Card Review
  5. What Should We Expect from Intel’s Larrabee Graphics Cards?